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The 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) will be held in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India, from the 2nd to the 6th of July 2023. Henceforth called ATBC 2023, it intends to engage a range of academic disciplines, professional sectors, NGOs, practitioners, corporates, and community leaders to communicate knowledge and commitment on tropical biodiversity and conservation.

The Local Organizing Committee invites symposium proposals for ATBC's 59th Annual Meeting that fit the meeting's theme "Balancing Science, Conservation, and Society" or proposals that are of general interest to the ATBC community.





Symposia are central to the scientific program of ATBC annual meetings. Each symposium should address a specific theme, falling into at least one of the following contexts:

  1. A topic of interest to numerous attendants.

  2. Conceptual syntheses with contrasting views on scientific and conservation issues that are actively debated.

  3. Introduce novel perspectives and approaches to research domains related to tropical biology and multidisciplinary research or perspectives for Conserving Tropical Biodiversity.

  4. Proposals that address the meeting theme, "Balancing Science, Conservation, and Society", are particularly encouraged.

  5. Proposals highlighting best practices in tropical conservation including community and corporate driven actions.


  • 15th 25th January 2023 - Extended deadline for submission of symposium proposals

  • 31st January 2023 - Notification of status of symposium proposals

  • 15th February 2023 - Deadline to submit revised and updated summary of symposium (if requested), and list of confirmed speakers

  • 15th March 2023 - Deadline to submit abstracts associated with each accepted symposium. Submission of abstracts for open presentation, speed talks, and posters

  • 1st May 2023 - Notification of abstract acceptance, and registration open

  • 20th May 2023 - Deadline for registration of confirmed speakers and early-bird registration of participants

  • 05th June 2023 – Deadline for registration of all participants


​Application format

All symposium proposals must be submitted through our online system, and must include:

  • Title: 15 words maximum.

  • Principal organizer (name, institutional affiliation, address, and email): Note that this person is the point of contact for the symposium and is responsible for communicating with the invited speakers.

  • Co-organizers (names, institutional affiliations, addresses, and emails). A maximum of two co-organizers are allowed.

  • Moderator (name, institutional affiliation, address, and email) if different from the organizers.

  • Potential speakers (name, institutional affiliation, address, email, and tentative talk titles) listed in the anticipated sequence of presentation. At least five speakers, not including the principal organizer, should have been contacted previously and indicated commitment to attending the ATBC2023 meeting. Sessions with more than six speakers need to be justified. Each symposium will receive a 2-hour block. In some cases, proposals with strong scientific and conservation merit and/or of broad interest may be accepted for two 2-hour blocks. Individual talks in symposia are 15 minutes-long (12 min presentation + 3 min Q&A). The symposium organizers are encouraged to allocate time for an introductory overview and/or a closing summary to promote conceptual synthesis and/or audience debate within the allocated time block. If there are vacant timeslots in a symposium, the symposium organizers must be willing to accept requests from the ATBC2023 Scientific Committee to accommodate additional presenters on the basis of merit, topic compatibility, or for logistical reasons.

  • Description (400 words max): This should clearly summarize the background, scope, goals, and objectives of the symposium, as well as its importance and potential interest to ATBC attendees. The description should avoid overly specialized language; any biologist attending the meeting should be able to understand it. A revised version of this text will appear in the online program and will be accessed by attendees seeking additional information on the session.

  • Justification (150 words max): The justification should focus on how the review criteria (see below) are met by the proposal. It should not simply repeat the description.

  • One sentence summary (50 words max): A short version of the symposium description that will appear in the final program.

Evaluation process and criteria

All proposals will be evaluated and scored by reviewers selected by the ATBC 2023 Local Organizing Committee, based on inputs from Scientific Committee. A symposia may be accepted, declined, or offered an opportunity to present the proposed work in a more appropriate format (organized oral session or special session). Organizers will be notified of the committee's decision by the 31st of January 2023.

Proposals will be assessed using the following criteria:

  • Scientific merit - likelihood of promoting a significant advancement in our understanding of tropical biology and conservation, innovative or interdisciplinary approaches, or likelihood of novel conceptual synthesis.

  • Broader impacts - integration of science with conservation issues, positive impacts on policy makers, utility to conservation practitioners, or otherwise.

  • Appeal to a broad audience - specifically among participants of ATBC2023.

  • Structure and organization - in the sense that the symposium will provide insightful synthesis or perspectives. Symposia should NOT simply be a set of case studies or a series of results from the same group of collaborators, and must avoid biases associated with the perspectives of the symposium organizers.

  • Relevance to the meeting's theme, as well as common scientific and academic interests of ATBC2023 attendees.

  • Speaker line-up - invited speakers are a mix of well-established and younger scientists, particularly those providing novel perspectives. Each speaker should make a novel contribution to the symposium theme, and not just review previous work. Proposals with a larger number of confirmed speakers and with a balanced gender representation will be favored.

All symposium speakers will be required to submit an abstract by the submission deadline (15th March 2023). Symposium organizers are responsible for ensuring that all associated abstracts are received by this deadline, and for reconfirming speaker participation by that date. All symposium abstracts will be peer reviewed, and the ATBC2023 Scientific Committee may be in contact with symposium organizers and require revisions of individual symposium abstracts.



Presentation rules

The ‘One Presentation’ rule will be applied to all speakers at ATBC; a presenter in a symposium is not allowed to present in another symposium, oral or poster session.

Symposium organizers will receive a notice from the ATBC2023 Local Organizing Committee if speakers in their sessions have not registered for the meeting by 20th May 2023.



Confirmation of Session


If your proposal is accepted, you will be responsible for ensuring that your symposium is organized in the correct manner. Organizers must be willing to accommodate requests for adjustment by the ATBC 2023 Scientific Committee. Organizers must submit an updated list of confirmed speakers, if necessary, by the 15th of February 2023. The ATBC 2023 Local Organization Committee reserves the right to cancel a symposium if fewer than 50% of the speakers have registered by the 20th of May 2022 and may then reassign speakers to oral sessions or other symposia or due to any other reasons. Accordingly, symposium organizers must maintain communication with the Scientific Committee to ensure registration and participation by their invited speakers.

Symposium organizers will be informed of the time and date of their symposia in early June 2023, and are expected to communicate this to individual speakers in their session.



Cancellation policy and financial assistance


It is disruptive for the meeting program to have accepted symposia cancelled. Accordingly, please submit a symposium proposal only if you are certain to attend the meeting and are willing to fulfil your responsibility as a symposium organizer.

In cases of unavoidable circumstances, the principal symposium organizer may be replaced by one of the symposium co-organizers. If a presentation must be cancelled, the speaker should immediately notify the symposium session organizer, whose duty it is to identify a replacement. The replacement would ideally be already a co-author, but the symposium session organizer may identify another suitable person. The name of the replacement speaker must be sent to the Program Chair and Co-Chairs as soon as possible even if it is as late as the day before the session.

ATBC does not provide special financial assistance, stipends or free registration to individual speakers participating in a symposium. Symposium organizers should notify potential speakers of this policy when they are invited to participate. If needed, individual symposium organizers are responsible for identifying funding sources for the speakers in their sessions. The ATBC 2023 Local Organizing Committee cannot accept symposium proposals with multiple speakers whose participation is pending financial support.

Communication with speakers

If a proposal is accepted as a symposium, it is very important that the organizer communicates with speakers about its acceptance, confirming registration status, abstract requirements and deadlines, session scheduling information, and expectations for participation in the conference. Speakers should be made aware of the following:


  • When asking speakers to commit to the session, organizers should inform them that the session could be scheduled for any day of the meeting.

  • Inform speakers that if they fail to submit an abstract on time (no later than 17th March 2023) they will be removed from the session. It is the responsibility of the symposium organizer to ensure that speakers submit an abstract associated with their talk.

  • All speakers are required to register for the conference. ATBC is not able to provide special financial assistance, stipends, free or reduced registration, travel assistance, or paid lodging to session organizers or to individual symposium participants. Organizers are responsible for communicating this clearly to their speakers.

​Contact information

For all questions regarding symposia please send an e-mail to


Call for Symposia

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